sodium sulfite as HCA

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Stoo Batchelor, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. Stoo Batchelor

    Stoo Batchelor Member

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    Hi All

    Just a quicky, I read conflicting reports of how much sodium sulfite per litre to use for a hypo clearing agent. I use about 20g. I say 'about' because I use one level desert spoon as a measure, which when weighed is 20g give or take.

    Am I using too much or too little for a worthy hypo clear? :confused:

    Cheers

    Stoo
     
  2. payral

    payral Member

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    I use 20g per litre too.
     
  3. Stoo Batchelor

    Stoo Batchelor Member

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    Thats good to hear. I just thought, if I get many answers I will be just as confused!

    Thanks

    Stoo
     
  4. JPD

    JPD Member

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    I use 19.93423g per 1.032 liter. :D
     
  5. Stoo Batchelor

    Stoo Batchelor Member

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    Ha Bloody Ha :D
     
  6. JPD

    JPD Member

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    Sometimes I make a stock solution, 200g sodium sulfite and 2g sodium bisulfite (pH buffer?) per liter. The working solution is 1+9.
     
  7. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    I've use a tablespoon per liter for years. Works very well and save an enormous amount of money over the packaged chems.

    I buy sulfite by the 50 lb bag for about $1 a pound.
     
  8. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Where do you get it? I've looked at my local photo store and also at several pool stores (there are many in the Dallas area). I have yet to be able to find sodium sulfite anywhere except ordering from Freestyle.
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The Photographers Formulary carries Sodium Sulfite as do several other companies.

    PE
     
  10. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I know, but the previous poster claims to buy it in 50 pound bags for around $1 per pound. I was asking where he gets it, because buying it from Formulary is about $7 per pound, plus shipping.
     
  11. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I think Better Sense is referring to the idea of buying it cheap...at $1 per pound.

    I too have enquired about Sodium Sulfite and Sodium Thiosulfate at several local pool supply stores only to be shunned or given the "What the hell are you talking about look".
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The Formulary sells in bulk as well. But then who needs 50 # of Na2SO3? In fact, I don't even use HCA. It is really only needed if you are short on water and we have a lot of that hereabouts.

    PE
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Be careful with chemicals from pool supply stores. Some of them have suspended solids in them which are harmful to photographic films and papers. Suspended solids can become trapped in the emulsion and cause defects. In addition, old sulfite turns into sulfate which slows down the washing process.

    Make sure you use good stuff.

    PE
     
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  15. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I love formualry and Art Craft Chems andespecially Freestyle...but, would really like to find Sulfite, for less than about $1.50 per pound. I easily use 3 pounds in a year. So, 50 pounds is a lot more than I need, it doesn't sound like an outrageous quantity.
     
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Brad;

    I have never used a wash aid of any sort in my entire life, nor has any lab I have worked in or with. We used a good wash with tap water to accomplish our goal of a well washed print. I mix developers quite often for experiments or design, and still get by with less than 2 # per year of sulfite. I used to buy Kodak Sulfite at RIT, right off the shelf. Now I get it from the Formulary as RIT is mostly digital.

    Bud gets it in huge bags, probably 100#. I never even paid attention to it, but they say on their web page and in the catalog that they sell in bulk and to ask for quotes. I know they sell in bulk. I have seen huge shipments go out the door. They sell many things to Freestyle, AAMOF, and maybe sulfite is one of them. IDK.

    PE
     
  17. eli griggs

    eli griggs Member

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  18. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Thanks PE. I use pre-packaged Kodak HCA for my films. That's how I was taught way back in the summer of 1975. It has always worked for me so, I am happy to stay with it.

    I do however, use 80~100 grams of sulfite almost every time I mix up a a liter of film developer. It adds up after a while. I really don't want / need a big bag but, what I really need is to get the (shipped) cost down to around $1.50 per pound or less. When the cost of sulfite is higher than this it no longer makes any economic sense to mix your own D-76. The prepackaged stuff (in 1 gallon size) is more economical.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2009
  19. Stoo Batchelor

    Stoo Batchelor Member

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    PE

    I am certainly not one to argue with anything you say, and although the above statement is therefore most certainly correct, I feel that I should say that for someone like myself who tones most, if not all of his/her prints, a HCA is an invaluable tool as it cuts down the length of wash before your print enters the bleach. Anyone who slips a print in to the bleach that has even a small amount of fix left in it is heading for problems during his/her toning routine, and I speak from experience here.

    If you do choose to skip a HCA bath, then wash your print for no less than one hour!

    Also I have found that an HCA bath also has an effect on the tone you get from sepia toners.

    Stoo
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Stoo;

    I tone! That said, I wash enough to prevent problems. And, I'm happy with the tones I get and I know how to play with the toners to "adjust" them to my taste. I also like to dual tone or split tone prints in both sepia and blue toners. So, if we are both happy, who cares? :D

    PE
     
  21. CBG

    CBG Member

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  22. Stoo Batchelor

    Stoo Batchelor Member

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    :smile::smile::smile:
     
  23. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    I happen to have a local Chemistry store. Well, about 30 minutes at least. I can run through a bag that size in a year, so I get it from them. They are a water processing supply kind of place for the water treatment plants.

    Really you need to find one locally. The shipping would kill the price.
     
  24. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I didn't see clarification of what kind of fixer in any of these posts. I seem to remember that if you use TF4 for prints and films (which I do), you really don't need any wash aid.
    True?
    And..if you use TF4 with typical fiber paper (eg. Ilf MG VI) with no wash aid, what would be a good wash time in a gravity works type of washer using about 1/2 to 1 gal/minute after filling?
     
  25. Stoo Batchelor

    Stoo Batchelor Member

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    Actually, thats a very good point george. I should have said that I am a user of Ilford Hypam. From what I am led to believe, I am sure that you are right that if you use an alkali fix, the necessity to use an HCA is somewhat eliminated.

    I am afraid that I can't answer the other part of your question.

    Cheers

    Stoo
     
  26. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    One chemical I bought in bulk had on the label "83% pure" and about half the remainder was "insoluble". It wasn't a photo chemical, but remember that many of the chemicals we use have many non-phoographic uses, and purity isn't important to some of them.